The following verses were taken from a small note book, found on a secondhand book stall, and lent to me by its owner; some of the poems would appear to have been published, as printed versions, differing in minor ways, were pasted into the notebook. The Rev. Ebenezer Tripp was a Primitive Methodist Minister stationed in the Ramsey Circuit 1884-6 & Castletown 1892-95. Born Summercotes, Derbyshire in 1849; though it would appear from the Farewell to Ramsey and Old School House, educated at the Strang, Braddan. No Tripp family can be found in the 1851 census nor in any directory. He states his father preached the word - a B. Tripp is shown as number 34 out of 35 accredited local preachers on the Primitive Methodist Douglas Circuit 1855-56 plan. address Ballavel (according to Kneen an alternative name for Ballakew, Malew, though in 1852 and 1857 directories both names are found) . His appointments were at Castletown, Colby and Ballasalla which would indicate residence in the Colby area. Presumeably the same Boaz Tripp was buried, age 54, in plot 2905 Braddan New on 7 July 1859 - the address was Ballastole, indicating a change of residence. Braddan marriage register contains record of the marriages of Anne Tripp to George Nicholson 6th March 1861 and Lydia Tripp to Henry Lawton 11 August 1862. The first was presumably Ebenezer's widowed mother, born 1816, who married the 55 year old George. In the 1861 census Ebenezer can be found living in Church Road Braddan with her and stepfather George Nicholson (described as farmer) , 17 year old Lydia Tripp and 15 year old Miriam. In 1881 he was married with a 1-year old daughter, stationed at Skelmersdale, Lancashire; his sister Lydia, born at Bottesford Leicestershire was living with her husband Henry (a warehouseman, born 1840 Liverpool) and family in Tranmere, Cheshire, having it would appear left the Island for Liverpool c.1864 after the birth of her first daughter.
No claims are made for the quality of these lines - the author seemed fond of 'farewell' verses, several others are in the notebook including one rather prosaically titled Lines on leaving Chester II circuit ! Many of the others are on Religious subjects.
The Isle of Man: girt by the Irish Sea;
Famed for its beauty and tranquillity.
Here Nature in her varied robes is seen:
In sombre Mountains and in Moorlands green
Here Nature's voices blend in Charms sweet,
And place the tribute at her Maker's feet.
This is a land for ever dear to me,
And always lingers in my memory,
For here I spent my Childhood's happy years,
Nor knew the changeful moods of hopes and Fears.
Twas here my Father taught me how to live
And now 'tis consecrated by his grave,
In Braddan's soil his honoured ashes lie,
His soul immortal lives above the sky.
To preach the Word God's grace to him was given
And now he rests with the Redeemer in Heaven
Long years had flown, and I returned again
To labour on this Island in the Main;
Three Years in Ramsey Circuit I have spent.
Among a people kind and diligent
And God has recompensed all our toil
With His Salvation and the cheering smile
A good increase of members we record
Who love the Saviour and revere his Word
And when the toil of this brief live is o'er,
We hope to meet again and part no more,
"Where tempests never break nor billows roar".
Oh may the Holy Spirit be poured out far and wide
On Kerrow Moar and Regaby, on Orrisdale and Bride.
May Cornah's lonely temple resound with praise and prayers
And Agneash rising in her might, shall triumph glorious there
And Michael, Leodest and Ballaugh renew their heavenly goal
And labour more abundantly, and live for Zion's weal
And Ramsey, O dear Ramsey! My prayers shall rise for thee
To Father, Soon and Holy Ghost, the Triune Deity,
For though removed to Chester o'er miles of land and sea
Thy welfare and prosperity lies very near to me,
God's holy Peace be with my Friends, our Saviour's Legacy.
Ramsey July 4 1884
FOUR years have sped away on rapid wing;
What lies within the future none can tell;
Of mercy and of judgment we can sing.
Beloved friends, Farewell!
Together we have walked life's weary way,
Cheered by our Saviour and His promise true,
His grace hath been sufficient for each day;
And now a fond adieu!
God be with you-may He the Circuit bless
With many loving hearts, and large increase,
And to our Father's house from all distress
May we arrive in peace.
Be faithful, patient, diligent,-work on!
Strong in His strength alone, in Him complete,
And thus secure the Christian's starry crown
At Jesu's feet.
And now again, Farewell! for we must part,
But precious memory will your love retain,
The wide-spread sea divides us not in heart,
And mountains rise to sever us in vain.
JUNE, 1896. E. R. TRIPP.
FAREWELL to dear Mona farewell to her glens,
Where the clear stream flows swift on its way
Farewell to the woods where the nightingales sing,
Where the wild violets breathe in the earliest spring,
And join in the welcome to May.
Farewell to her mountains enveloped in cloud -
Barrule, Ben-y-phot, and Snaefell ;
Farewell to her cliffs, frowning dark on the foam,
Whereon the white sea birds have built the -n a home,
Ye wild scenes of nature, farewell!
Farewell to sweet Ramsey, farewell to its bay,
Where the tide ebbs and flows evermore
Farewell to the sands where the young children play,
And sport in the sunshine throughout the long day,
And the blue wave breaks white on the, shore.
Farewell to the Islanders, loyal and strong,
Patriotic, religious, and kind:
While they rest on our God who made mountain and flood,
And yawning rock ramparts, and shady green wood,
Contentment and peace they will find.
Ramsey, June, 1887. E. R. T.
I am sitting alone in my study
Once more at the close of the day,
And while gazing into the fire
My mind wanders far, far away.
For thoughts of my early childhood
And the home of my boyhood's days,
Memory's fond recollections
Rush into my mind as I gaze.
I see the Strang school-house before me,
And I am a scholar once more
The babel of infantile voices
Resound on my ear as of yore.
I hear the sharp voice of our mistress
Reproving some " son of a clod" ;
She gives him a piece of her mind,
And ends with a taste of the rod.
The kindly old man of the village
Says, " How do you do, boys and girls ?"
He pats Tommy's rosy fat cheeks
And strokes pretty Mary's fair curls.
The old man was our mistress's father-
Sometimes he had charge of the school
But, though he had been in the army,
The scholars he never could rule.
The songs that we sung in the school-house, ',
The ring of our monitor's bell,
The marching in regular order,
All these I remember quite well.
The gathering wild flowers in the hedgerows,
The bathing and fishing for trout,
The ducking o'er head in the horse-trough,
And quenching our thirst at the spout.
I think of our blackberry gathering,
Of the chase by the bull in the field,
And of many a pleasant excursion,
And all the delights they did yield.
Yea, all the delights of my boyhood
Rush on me while sitting alone;
Many actors in this early drama
Are not to be found ! They are gone.
They have entered the other world's portals,
They have gone but a little before;
The kindly old man is awaiting
To greet his dear children once more.
Chester, 1888. E. R. TRIPP.
[In 1857 Catherine Carran was Mistress at Strang Infant School]
In Castletown on Mona's beauteous Isle,
Hear where the white surf breaks upon the shore, a lady dwelt .
A lady young and-fair the idol of her dear old father's heart.,
He was a Captain of a goodly ship,
Which traversed oft the blustering western main,
And thus perforce was often long from home, and separate from those. he dearly loved.
Those whom the Gods love most die young, 'tis said ; and o'er the Captain's home, there fell the shade of death
Reclining on her couch his daughter lay, stricken by fell disease,
Yet must he leave her to obey stern duty's call.
And that before he reached his home once more,
She would be gone for ever from his sight,
In this sad world, he knew full well.
Who can describe the anguish, grief and pain,
That surged within the father's stricken heart,
When he embraced his child for the last time,
And gave the long last kiss, and left her to her heavenly father's care.
Some day's elapsed when just off Castletown bay,
A steamship sailed, and her loud booming gun,
Re-echoed o'er the town,
It was the Captain's signal to his daughter,
His fond and last farewell,
The maiden heard the gun in her sick chamber, it echoed in her heart with filial love, and soon she closed her weary eyes and died.
Castletown, E. R. T.
[fpc - ? Braddan Vicarage]
The sea girt Isles ! the lovely Isles !
From the Shetland's to Fegee
Which can compare with Mona fair, ,
A beauteous gem is she,
Set to adorn as on the high born
The brow of the Irish sea,
Let poets sing of the Eastern Isles,
Where "The splay breezes blow",
And the Mango's lave in the flashing wave,
An the stately palm trees grow,
While the stars beam bright in the vault of night,
And the firefly shrines below.
But the deadly cobra's home is there,
And the tiger tracks his prey,
While malaria's breath are the darts of death,
And the strong man fades away,
But, in Mona dear, no danger we fear,
In the night or the gladsome day.
The savage rites and he heathen fane,
On this Island none are found,
But all over the land from strand to strand,
Christ's temples dot the ground,
Young and old repair to the House of Prayer,
For they know the joyful sound.
From Spanish Head to the Point of Ayre,
From Peel to Laxey Bay,
A beautiful sight, from Snaefell height,
You can the Isle survey.
In robes of green, like a Fairy Queen,
She shines in the light of day.
On golden sands, in sheltered bays
The wavelets come and go,'
While on her rocks with thundering shocks,
The surf breaks white as snow,
Now the sea bird rides on the yeasty' tides,
And anon he sinks below.
And from other lands men come in bands,
With old friends here they meet
And the pale with care, drink the balmy air,
Of this insular retreat,
Then return with health; the purest wealth,
To their lot or princely seat.
Oh ye in life's race, who sigh for a place,
To drive dull care away,
You may travel far on this earthly star,
But believe me when I say,
No place can compare with Ramsey fair,
On the banks of its sparkling bay.
Here are mossy banks, where the wild thyme, blows,
And the dog rose scents the gale,
And the leafy shade, and the bright cascade,
And the flower besprinkled dale,
While with fleecy, crown, they mountains look down,
On Ramsey in the vale.
Thanks to Stewart Christian for loan and Brian Lawson for help.